There are a lot of reasons why building owners want to invest in solar energy. Solar provides a clean source of energy that’s independent from the local power grid, and this can mean a drastic reduction in energy costs and fossil fuel consumption. However, solar panels aren’t right for everyone. If you’re wondering whether solar works for your building, then here are some things that you can keep in mind.

The Condition of Your Roof

Is your roof in good condition? If you will need a roof replacement within a few years, then now might not be the best time to get solar panels, unless you want to get a roof replacement first. The type of roof you have is also something to consider, because stronger roofs will bear the weight of a solar array more easily. Solar panels work best with composite roofs, asphalt shingles, concrete tile, and standing-seam metal roofs.

Nearby Tree Coverage

Do you have large trees near your building that shade your roof during the day? As you might have guessed, solar panels need exposure to sunlight to function properly. If you have a one or two-story building, having trees near your building also puts your solar array in danger of becoming damaged by fallen limbs, and you don’t want leaves piling on top of your solar panels.

Roof’s Exposure to Sunlight

There are other factors that can affect the amount of sunlight your roof gets. Your local climate is one of them. If you live in an area that is prone to a lot of rain or overcast weather conditions, then you might not get as much from your solar panels as you would like. Also, solar panels work best on roofs that face South.

Your Building's Energy Needs

Does your building consume enough energy for solar to be a worthwhile investment? Electricity is very expensive in some areas and less in others, so a solar company will ask for recent energy bills to help decide if your building is a good fit. 

Solar Tax Credits

Although solar energy is more affordable than it used to be, it can still be difficult for many to afford. However, there are some tax credits that can help. There is a federal tax credit that applies to your federal tax return for up to 30% of the cost of your solar system. Some states also provide a solar tax credit. Consult with your tax preparer to learn about the most current credits that are available federally and in your state.